The Sleep Quota

0.5 min read

Are you an over sleeper? If so, it might be time to set the alarm on your favourite pastime because new research uncovers over sleepers are six times more likely to develop dementia.

Now, before we jump to any conclusions, let’s get our facts straight: We aren’t talking about your occasional weekend post-brunch-induced stupor. No, we’re talking about a systematic and repetitive pattern of oversleeping. The study that was carried out by Dr. Sudha Seshadri alongside other neuroscientists from the Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BUSM) who wanted to investigate whether too much sleep can increase the risk of developing dementia. 

Cabin Fever, MOJEH Issue No.7 | Photographed by Pieter Henket | Styled by Matthew Marden

Cabin Fever, MOJEH Issue No.7 | Photographed by Pieter Henket | Styled by Matthew Marden

The new study presents information that was obtained through a dataset, which followed 2,500 participants, now with an average age of 72, who self-reported their sleeping habits. 13 years later the candidates were interviewed again about their sleep patterns. Since their initial interview, 234 cases of dementia and 181 Alzheimer’s cases were recorded.

Cabin Fever, MOJEH Issue No.7 | Photographed by Pieter Henket | Styled by Matthew Marden

Cabin Fever, MOJEH Issue No.7 | Photographed by Pieter Henket | Styled by Matthew Marden

The research clearly shows that participants who slept excessively for more than nine hours a night had smaller brain volumes and poorer execution function. In the published journal labelled Neurology, it’s also explained that oversleeping serves as an early biological marker of neurodegeneration. 

This study also mentions an increased risk in patients without a college degree. This is linked to the positive effects of continual brain activity that’s brought about by tasks such as learning a new language or solving advanced math. Elsewhere, super foods that promote healthy brain function can also aid in long-term wellness. 

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